New U.N. privacy chief says we need a "Geneva convention" for internet privacy. He's right, though of course we need protection from corporations (which buy and sell our info) as well as governments (which gobble it up to use against you later). Key quotation: "at least Winston (Smith, of George Orwell’s novel 1984) was able to go out in the countryside and go under a tree and expect there wouldn’t be any screen, as it was called. Whereas today there are many parts of the English countryside where there are more cameras than George Orwell could ever have imagined."
National Labor Relations Board rules that its previous definition of "joint employer" wasn't broad enough, raising the possibility that temporary employees and employees of subcontractors and franchises can redress grievances with the parent corporations, rather than the "middle men." Naturally Congressional Republicans have already announced they'll attack this decision through the appropriations process -- because they somehow find it unconscionable to give working families more tools to fight an unnecessarily obscure employer-employee relationship that redistributes worker wealth upward to corporate CEOs.
Consumer Reports finds bacteria resistant to at least two antibiotics in nearly one out of every five samples of ground beef. Sustainably-raised beef fares substantially better as far as antibiotic-resistant bacteria are concerned (though not necessarily other bacteria), but you'll still find it there, likely because you found it somewhere else first. Could we, maybe, you know, stop pumping healthy animals full of antibiotics now? Factory farms aren't so old, after all, that we need to get all Russell Kirk about protecting traditions and such.
You remember the Wichita State scientist who has found that the Republican share of votes seems to increase as precincts get larger in Kansas (and elsewhere)? Well, she's sued the state of Kansas for the hard copies of votes in order to check her data, and Kansas's Secretary of State has asked a judge to block that request. Mr. Kobach is, you might have guessed, a Republican, one who won re-election in 2014 though polls had him on the skids for a moment. But until the data convinces me otherwise, I'll continue to assume Mr. Kobach won mainly because his Democratic opponent didn't offer enough of an alternative.
Finally, Maine Governor Paul LePage says he might challenge Independent Senator Angus King in 2018. Gov. LePage is perhaps hoping (and perhaps in vain) for another three-way election, since those are the only kinds of elections he can win. But while Mr. LePage's gubernatorial term ends in 2018, circumstances might well free him to campaign extensively before then.